Light staining, nursing
Hi, thanks for this site! May you go m'chayil l'chayil and be granted the wisdom you need to help you in this endeavour! In this past month, I noticed staining on my tissues (it was a mistake to look, but I had felt like something was weird), did a bedika (which was probably also not so smart), my husband took it to the rav, and it was tamei. It wasn't my period, as I am nursing; with my first I nursed clean for 9 months, so I wasn't expecting my period now at all. Also, it was only a small amount of blood that didn't get any bigger. So I waited 5 & 7, and came back from the mikva. My husband theorized that it might have been dam maka, as I had felt some pain during relations, and the blood I noticed might have been the wound scabbing and shedding. Is this a possibility? 4 or 5 days after I came home, again I felt strange, and again there was blood on the tissue [do you have any recommendations for how to get into the mindframe of not to look? I feel like if I feel that something is strange, and I don't check, I'm "cheating". I know that's not halachically correct, can you suggest a way I can stop feeling like this?]. Again the rav paskened tamei. No period in sight though. I stained for 5-6 days and am now in the middle of 7 nekeim. I haven't yet taken a pregnancy test (for the last mikva visit, I took one a couple weeks ago and it was negative), so perhaps it's staining from implantation, but is there another medical reason for this staining? Should I get an ob/gyn check up? I don't want there to be a pattern of mikva-relations-staining, it's extremely frustrating. I'm sorry, this is so long, I'm just trying to make the whole picture clear. Thank you so much for your help!!! Tizku l'mitzvos!
Thank you for your question.
We're sorry to hear of your staining difficulties.
It is very typical for women who are nursing to spot, especially when or if they begin to wean the baby or make another change in the amount of breastfeeding they do. Even so, should the staining persist, it would be appropriate to consult with your physician about its causes and about the advisability of pursuing medical solutions to your staining.
Regardless, if you ever have staining accompanied by or following pain, it is worthwhile to have yourself examined to identify any irritation or abrasion that could be considered a makkah (wound). In the absence of a physical examination, it is difficult to attribute staining to a wound. But a physical examination right after your first stain and bedikah might have turned something up. In Israel, there are a number of bodkot taharah, nurses trained to identify makkot. Procedures vary in other countries. In some communities, a rav may refer you to a specific doctor. Otherwise, you can ask your physician to look and see if he sees any lesion on the vagina or cervix that could bleed, even if it is medically normal.
You are correct that you are not required to look at toilet tissue. If you must look, then it is important to train yourself to let fifteen seconds elapse between urinating and wiping. The halachic concern is that the sensation of urinating may conceal the sensation of hargashah. This concern applies when wiping follows urination immediately. When fifteen seconds have elapsed, we are confident that the stain on the tissue did not immediately follow a concealed hargashah. Therefore, we can apply one of the leniencies pertaining to stains without hargashah, namely, that a stain on a surface such as toilet tissue does not render a woman niddah. You could add to the grounds for leniency by using colored toilet tissue when you wipe after waiting.
Thus, by being sure to wait, you are neither cheating nor ignoring what occurs. The same rabbis who determined that stains without hargashah make a woman niddah on a rabbinic level determined that there were certain grounds for leniency, including include being found on colored items or on items that cannot contract ritual impurity. Further discussion of this topic can be found in our article, "Ketamim."
When a woman discovers a stain on toilet paper after having waited fifteen seconds between urination and wiping, she is not niddah. We still advise a woman in such a case to abstain from relations for twenty-four hours, to be sure that a flow does not begin. If the twenty-four hours elapse without further staining, she is free to have relations.
A woman is required to perform bedikot during her seven clean days and on her veset days. Otherwise, we strongly suggest contacting a halachic authority prior to performing a bedikah. You can trust your rav to let you know when a bedikah is in order.
This internet service does not preclude, override or replace the psak of any rabbinical authority. It is the responsibility of the questioner to inform us of any previous consultation or ruling. As even slight variation in circumstances may have Halachic consequences, views expressed concerning one case may not be applied to other, seemingly similar cases.
If you have further questions or comments about this email, please click here to Ask the Yoetzet.
The Nishmat Women's Health and Halacha is a public service of Nishmat, The Jeanie Schottenstein Center for Advanced Torah Study for Women. This project and others like it are made possible by contributions from people like you. If you have benefitted from the service, and wish to enable us to help others, click here to donate.